I got on the train and bagged myself a four seater with a table (winning), waving awkwardly through the closed window at my friend in the layby; waiting dutifully to make sure I caught the train after our late departure.
I dump my bag at the same time as letting out a long sigh and guiltily look forward to commencing with my incessant habit of Facebook feed scrolling. An activity that normally lasts for many hours until the shame of non-productivity floods over me, usually about the point I realise I have ‘caught up’ with the Economist posts I read yesterday.
When I unlocked my phone it presented the last app I had visited, Pinterest. The page refreshed with a new post and in big bold letters said:
”Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 day book. Write a good one.”
Wouldn’t it be odd if you did write a book and some of the pages were completely blank? I was on the first page of my book, today, was I going to take action and make it a good one? Or was I going to leave it blank?
Over the new year I had been reading two books:
Minimalism Leading a Meaningful life by Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus
And: 18 Minutes, Find Your Focus Master Distraction and Get The Right Things Done by Peter Bregman.
I’d bought them both in Australia in October on my way back from holiday. I suppose in hindsight this should’ve been a key red flag for my forthcoming existential crisis. Alas, by New Year’s Day they were well thumbed, strewn with sticky notes and written all over (sinful) with my multicoloured Biro.
After weeks of digesting these books and a sudden realisation that I was supposed to be taking action every day, pieces of a larger puzzle seemed to fall into place for me. I took out my multicoloured Biro and in the next three hours, as the train trundled with exhausted movements through the Welsh countryside, I came up with five key goals that I wanted to achieve in my life.
The train had been stationary for about 10 seconds before I realised it was my stop, I gathered up the table full of papers in the haphazard way someone would a pack of dropped playing cards and I rushed home; this was going to need a mood board…